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How many years in Mitsrayim?

Posted by Stephen Pidgeon on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 8:45 AM

 

Let us begin with an inquiry into to how many years the house of Yashar’el spent in Mitsrayim (Egypt).

Shemoth (Exodus) 12:40-42
Now the sojourning of the children of Yashar’el, who dwelt in Mitsrayim, was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of YAHUAH went out from the land of Mitsrayim. 42 It is a night to be much observed unto YAHUAH for bringing them out from the land of Mitsrayim: this is that night of YAHUAH to be observed of all the children of Yashar’el in their generations.

When reviewing this verse, in its context, the direct reference is to the night of Pecach, and that the departure took place on the first day of Matstsah – the fifteenth day of the first month, on the full moon. And it is this day that is proclaimed the selfsame day as the beginning of the sojourning of the children of Yashar’el. We note that this passage is inclusive of that time when the children of Yashar’el also dwelt in Mitsrayim.  However, the Septuagint gives a more conclusive statement:

And the dwelling of the sons of Israel, which they dwelt in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, they and their fathers – four hundred thirty years.  Exodus 12:40 – Septuagint.

Comparing these two phrases, we look first to the critical verb found in the opening of this verse, interpreted as sojourning but interpreted as dwelling in the Septuagint.  The word at issue is the Hebrew word mowshab (מוֹשָׁב) (Strong's 4186).  This word is construed by Strong’s as general meaning a seat; figuratively, a site; abstractly, a session; by extension an abode (the place or the time); by implication, population: that is, an assembly, to dwell in, dwelling(-place), wherein (that) dwelt (in), inhabited place, seat, sitting, situation, and sojourning.

When we look at the actual years recorded, we find that in fact, the captivity in Mitsrayim is much shorter than 400 years, that, in fact, it was less than 250 years. 

Now it is reasonable to conclude that this journey began in the first year of the 49th Jubilee:

Yovheliym (Jubilees) 50:4

Wherefore I have ordained for you the year weeks and the years and the jubilees: there are forty nine jubilees from the days of Adam until this day, and one week and two years: and there are yet forty years to come for learning the commandments of YAHUAH, until they pass over into the land of Kena`an, crossing the Yarden to the west.

Here, this passage shows that the house of Yashar’el had already been sojourning in the wilderness for nine years (one week and two years), with forty years remaining.  If this is the case, then the house of Yashar’el departed Mitsrayim in the year 2,450 from the creation of Adam. 

Reversing the math, we can determine that the sojourning/dwelling of the children of Yashar’el began in the year 2,020, or the sixth year of the third week of the 41st Jubilee. Although the Cepher Yovheliym is silent in terms of a direct delineation of this time, it can be reasoned from the text that on the 15th day of the third month, in the year 2020, the vision was given to Avram:

Yovheliym (Jubilees) 14:13-18
And it came to pass, when the sun had set, that an ecstasy fell upon Avram, and lo! a horror of great darkness fell upon him, and it was said unto Avram: 'Know of a surety that your seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and they shall bring them into bondage, and afflict them four hundred years. 14 And the nation also to whom they will be in bondage will I judge, and after that they shall come forth thence with much substance. 15 And you shall go to your fathers in peace, and be buried in a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall return hither; for the iniquity of the Emoriym is not yet full.' 17 And he awoke from his sleep, and he arose, and the sun had set; and there was a flame, and behold! a furnace was smoking, and a flame of fire passed between the pieces. 18 And on that day YAHUAH cut a covenant with Avram, saying: 'To your seed will I give this land, from the river of Mitsrayim unto the great river, the river Perath, the Qeyniyiym, the Qenizziym, the Qadmoniym, the Perizziym, and the Repha’iym, the Paqoriym, and the Chivviym, and the Emoriym, and the Kena`aniym, and the Girgashiym, and the Yevuciym.

When we consider the affliction of 400 years, we must consider that the affliction would continue until the house of Yashar’el moved into the land of Kena’an in the beginning of the 50th Jubilee, or the year 2501, bringing the date of the beginning of the affliction back to the year 2101, or the first year of the 42nd Jubilee.  This would be the year Avraham settled in Chevron.

Yovheliym (Jubilees) 19:1-2
AND in the first year of the first week in the forty second jubilee, Avraham returned and dwelt opposite Chevron, that is Qiryat Arba, two weeks of years. 2 And in the first year of the third week of this jubilee the days of the life of Sarah were accomplished, and she died in Chevron.

However, when we look closely at the word affliction (Yovheliym 14:13; Bere’shiyth 15:13), we find the Hebrew word (עָנָה)ʻânâh, which means to depress literally or figuratively, to abase self, afflict(-ion, self), answer (by mistake for H6030), chasten self, deal hardly with, defile, exercise, force, gentleness, humble (self), hurt, ravish, sing (by mistake for H6030), speak (by mistake for H6030), or to submit oneself.

We think, therefore, that the better phrasing in these verses should be as follows:

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 15:13
And he said unto Avram: Know of a surety that your seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and shall submit to them for four hundred years;

And further:

Yovheliym (Jubilees) 14:13
And it came to pass, when the sun had set, that an ecstasy fell upon Avram, and lo! a horror of great darkness fell upon him, and it was said unto Avram: 'Know of a surety that your seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and they shall bring them into bondage, and cause them to submit to them for four hundred years.

Let’s take a moment now to consider the timing of the Feast of Shavu’oth, the feast of sevens also called Pentecost, and also known as the feast of the wheat harvest.


Now consider Avraham’s next act:

Yovheliym (Jubilees) 15:1
AND in the fifth year of the fourth week of this jubilee, in the third month, in the middle of the month, Avram celebrated the Feast of the Firstfruits of the grain harvest.

This would have occurred in the year 2026 from the year of the creation of Adam.

As for the time spent in Mitsrayim, let’s take a look at key timing passages set forth in the more detailed account of the dates found in the Cepher Yovheliym:

Yovheliym (Jubilees) 42:1-2
AND in the first year of the third week of the forty fifth jubilee the famine began to come into the land, and the rain refused to be given to the earth, for none whatsoever fell. 2 And the earth grew barren, but in the land of Mitsrayim there was food, for Yoceph had gathered the seed of the land in the seven years of plenty and had preserved it.

Yovheliym (Jubilees) 42:20
And he sent him with them in the second year of this week on the first day of the month, and they came to the land of Mitsrayim with all those who went, and they had presents in their hands, stacte and almonds and terebinth nuts and pure honey.

Yovheliym (Jubilees) 44:1
AND Yashar’el took his journey from Haran from his house on the New Moon of the third month, and he went on the way of the Well of the Oath, and he offered a sacrifice to the ELOHIYM of his father Yitschaq on the seventh of this month.

45th Jubilee

2251-2258 (first week)

2258-2265 (second week)

2266-2273 (third week)

To repeat, in the Cepher Yovheliym 42:1, we find that the statement: In the first year of the third week of the forty fifth jubilee would mean that the year identified would be the year 2266 from the creation of Adam.

Therefore, Yashar’el left his house in Haran on the first day of Shalosh (the third month) in the second year of the third week of the forty-fifth jubilee.  So, Yashar’el left for Mitsrayim on 1 Shalosh, in the year 2267. 

And of course, the house of Yashar’el entered the promised land on the 1st day of the 50th Jubilee.

Yovheliym (Jubilees) 50:4
Wherefore I have ordained for you the year weeks and the years and the jubilees: there are forty nine jubilees from the days of Adam until this day, and one week and two years: and there are yet forty years to come for learning the commandments of YAHUAH, until they pass over into the land of Kena`an, crossing the Yarden to the west.

This passage tells us that the house of Yashar’el would pass over into the land of Kena’an after the completion of 49 Jubilees and 49 years, i.e., on the 50th year, which would be the 50th Jubilee from the creation of Adam. 

2267 is when Yashar’el left for Mitsrayim; and the year 2500 was the year the house of Yashar’el entered the land of Kena’an.  Therefore the captivity in Mitsrayim was a total of 233 years. 

430 years from the year 2500 would put us at the year 2070, or the twentieth year of the 41st Jubilee. 

Yovheliym (Jubilees) 13:15-21
And Phar`oh gave back Sarai, the woman of Avram, and he sent him out of the land of Mitsrayim, and he journeyed to the place where he had pitched his tent at the beginning, to the place of the altar, with Ai on the east, and Beyt-EL on the west, and he blessed YAHUAH ELOHAYU who had brought him back in peace. 16 And it came to pass in the forty first jubilee in the third year of the first week, that he returned to this place and offered thereon a burnt sacrifice, and called on the name of YAHUAH, and said: 'You, EL ELYON, are my ELOHIYM forever and ever.' 17 And in the fourth year of this week Lot parted from him, and Lot dwelt in Cedom, and the men of Cedom were sinners exceedingly. 18 And it grieved him in his heart that his brother's son had parted from him; for he had no children. 19 In that year when Lot was taken captive, YAHUAH said unto Avram, after that Lot had parted from him, in the fourth year of this week: 'Lift up your eyes from the place where you are dwelling, northward and southward, and westward and eastward. 20 For all the land which you see I will give to you and to your seed forever, and I will make your seed as the sand of the sea: though a man may number the dust of the earth, yet your seed shall not be numbered. 21 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and the breadth of it, and see it all; for to your seed will I give it.' 

Therefore, in consideration of the foregoing, we are left to conclude that the only possible construction of the verse found in Shemoth (Exodus) 12:40 must be consistent with the language set forth in the Septuagint, namely:

And the dwelling of the sons of Israel, which they dwelt in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, they and their fathers – four hundred thirty years. 

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